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Rival Turf! (SNES) artwork

Rival Turf! (SNES) review

"The music is muffled, the graphics are blurry, and the animation is just awful. The action starts out on the streets of L.A. with Oozie murdering packs of identical masked Mexican wrestlers (they must be part of the Villano family). I don't care how manly the concept of powerbombing scrawny gang members is with its three frames, this just looks BAD."

Everyone brags about their manly reviews of manly games nowadays. It's time for manliness to DIE!

Rival Turf is very manly. It has a rootin'-tootin' cover. It has manly protagonists performing manly punk-busting gutbusters. It has sexy two-player simultaneous head-smashing, because two heads are better for smashing than one. It has a rough-and-tumble ANGRY mode. It has it has it has it has!

You probably don't believe me about the cover. "How can it possibly be more manly than Strider's Bruce Willis lookalike?" Click HERE, my amuscular friend, but first prepare yourself for its testicle-bursting power.

...what, you're back?

Poor Rival Turf. Its two cover boys with their three-inch boners try so hard but just can't deliver. Fortunately, the game itself doesn't star those two punks it's got two other bruisers who really don't dress much better, but at least they're not fourteen!

One of the main characters OOZES manliness. That's a play on words, because his name is Oozie Nelson. He's the big Mike Haggar character. No one is more manly than Mike Haggar... except for Oozie. He's on the side of justice, but wears a Japanese gang member outfit like Bahn from Fighting Vipers, who was the manliest character in that decidedly unmanly fighter.

Look at his awesome hat, look at his orange uniform, look at his big bulging... THAT'S ENOUGH! Real men don't stare, they smash. Oozie's an expert at smashing. According to the manual, he's a Mexican military man one of the best soldiers they've got, from a land well-known for its powerful soldiers. Unfortunately, the goofy uniform makes Oozie look like an orange Mexican Nazi. ZIG HEIL!

The other player character, Jack Flak, is the typical boring-ass American white boy. I won't mention him again.

The story covers the establishment of a joint US-Mexican task force to fight against the man who has unified the gangs of L.A. and Eastern Mexico. If you spin the globe around really fast, those two spots almost look like they're near each other. This two-man task force (don't fret, both players are allowed to pick Oozie) fights the gangs with bare fists and very, very occasionally with some other weapon. Like a loose brick or the slowest grenade ever invented.

It's all bad from there! The otherwise unremarkable music is muffled, the graphics are blurry due to poor color choice, and the animation is just awful. The action starts out on the streets of L.A. with Oozie murdering packs of identical masked Mexican wrestlers (they must be part of the Villano family). I don't care how manly the concept of powerbombing scrawny gang members is with its stilted three frame motion, this just looks BAD. Oozie's magical "clothesline" is even worse. By holding L or R, he can run around the screen. Tap attack while running to perform a ferocious, manly clothesline! ...except that he doesn't. INSTEAD: when you press the attack button, Oozie stops running, lifts his arm in the air (where it can't possibly even touch anyone), and enemies standing a good two feet away magically fall down.

If it can't be cool because of how you kill enemies, it can at least be cool because of who you kill and where you kill them. But that's giving credit where credit isn't due. The first level includes a bus ride that's not even half as grimy or run-down as the subway scene from Final Fight. Things don't get better at the end; the first level's boss is "Genie", a fat Arabian who fights with a rapier. That inaccuracy will ENRAGE sword buffs, but that's not the real problem here. The problem is that Genie doesn't even do cool fat Arabian attacks like belly-bouncing or blowing golden powder in your eyes; he just walks around and sometimes stops walking to wave his sword at nothing in particular. Fist of the North Star's fattie Heart was a lot cooler, because he actually used his blubber as a weapon!

You'll find in the second (and third... and fourth...) levels that the gang members must be really, really tough because they keep re-appearing, just like the gang members from Final Fight or Streets of Rage. Jaleco tried to shake things up by giving later-level opponents stupidly long lifebars and a new power: invincibility. Even though they look the same as before, they're tough to the cheapest degree! Normally when you walk near someone, you grab them and can throw them. But later on, they grab YOU! And if you try to punch them, they grab you! And if you run at them, they move out of the way and grab you!

Being thrown around like a rag doll would make any real man mad. Fortunately, in all their manliness, Jaleco realized this and created ANGRY mode. When Oozie loses half of his health, he starts flashing and turns invincible! Then he can actually compete on even ground with the punks in the game's latter half.

By this time, you've probably realized that you've only found about three weapons and they've all sucked. STOP WHINING! The fifth level gives you a mighty WRENCH finally a weapon that you can swing! Up until that point, all you find are throwing knives, throwing bricks, throwing rocks, and a rat. But on the fifth level out of six you get an f'n WRENCH.

And then you beat up some more punks named "Dingo" and "Reggie", because making a joke of Mexicans wasn't enough; Jaleco had to mock Australians and Jamaicans, too. Don't rely too heavily on your WRENCH against these late-level thugs, because it'll pass through their bodies most of the time.

My good friend Tachibana Ukyo offered the aggressive suggestion of flushing this crappy game down the toilet. Then I would leave the toilet seat up, because that's MANLY. But like I said before, it's time for manliness to DIE! Lose the husky bravado just don't buy Rival Turf at all and then you won't have to dream up some elaborate way to destroy it.


I'm proud of myself. Nowhere in this review did I call the game Rival Turd.

zigfried's avatar
Staff review by Zigfried (March 19, 2005)

Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.

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